During the West Africa Ebola outbreak, the shutdown of routine health services was a bigger threat to women’s lives than the virus itself. The same is true for the COVID-19 pandemic. The UN predicts there could be up to 7 million unintended pregnancies worldwide, with thousands of deaths from unsafe abortion and complicated births.
The World Health Organization’s interim guidance for maintaining essential services during an outbreak prioritizes reproductive health and efforts to avert maternal and child mortality and morbidity. A surprising adaptation in the UK and Australia is abortions by telemedicine!
Authorities also fear a surge in gender-based violence in all countries related to being trapped at home with an abuser.
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Synopsis written by: Jinwon Kim, Mary Ann Kirkpatrick and Vicki Roberts-Gassler for Advocates for Women